Honoring a legacy: AASU hosts community events during January in honor of Martin Luther King

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By Mary Wolters and Prashi Agarwal, Staff Reporters The African American Student Union (AASU) has dedicated their time to organize a schoolwide event and a service project, commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which takes place on Jan. 16 of every year. Martin Luther King Day is the only federal holiday identified as a National...

By Mary Wolters and Prashi Agarwal, Staff Reporters

The African American Student Union (AASU) has dedicated their time to organize a schoolwide event and a service project, commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which takes place on Jan. 16 of every year.

Martin Luther King Day is the only federal holiday identified as a National Day of Service to remember and perpetuate the achievements of Dr. King, a civil rights leader. He worked to end racism and was one of the most influential speakers of the civil rights movement.

Over the month of January, the AASU will be holding two events:  a charity drive to collect new items for the community and a creative arts competition for the whole school to participate in.

“We’re doing this service work to honor the feats of Dr. King,” Tori Hall, an AASU advisor, said.

Socks are an important yet neglected item regarding donations, so the AASU’s annual charity drive will be gathering socks to donate to the Joy of Sox, a local organization in Philadelphia that collects and distributes thousands of socks to the homeless. From Jan. 9 to Jan. 19, the school is invited to donate new socks that will be delivered to the Joy of Sox on Jan 20.

“It (Martin Luther King Day) is a celebration of what he worked so hard for,” Senae Harris, current president of the AASU, said. “But in our own way we can make a big small change in our community.”

The AASU will also be holding a school-wide competition titled “One Stoga One Dream” that focuses on the themes of hope, visions, and dreams of future progress that people have in the community. It accepts art and essay submissions that will be displayed in the hallways starting January 23 and running through Black History Month.

On January 26th, the AASU will award students, staff, and community members alike with three inaugural annual awards: the AASU Heart of Service Award, the AASU Character Award, and the AASU Champion of Equity Award that will be presented during period 2 of Jan. 26. Periods 3-4 will feature a One Dream One Stoga Student Speak where students will discuss and examine ways to achieve greater equity and justice.

“His (King’s) nonviolent movement contributed to the passage of the Civil Rights Movement Act passed, which wasn’t just an act just for African Americans, but women and the LGBTQIA+ community,” Chris Brown, another advisor for the AASU, said. “His legacy impacted legislation, and that is something that I’m thankful for.”

The schoolwide event and service project specifically aims to tie the students and faculty into unity under one event, working to commemorate a great figure. This event especially means a lot to the AASU, as it is a great honor to have a day recognizing a prominent figure of their background. 

“People can honor (King’s) memory by just being kind to others. He talked about peace, sisterhood, brotherhood and living in harmony,” Brown said. “And oftentimes people tend to not live up to that. So people can just be kind to each other every day and build relationships and friendships.”

Martin Luther King made a great impact on this nation and the world. His legacy serves to be remembered by all.

“We cannot walk alone,” said King in his speech, I Have a Dream. “And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back.”


Mary Wolters can be reached at [email protected]

Prashi Agarwal can be reached at [email protected]

 

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